There’s a hub of retail activity happening in NOLA – that’s North Larchmont for the uninitiated – that is drawing bigger and bigger crowds to the corner of Larchmont and Melrose. Ampersand Boutique, the “carefully curated” consignment boutique is one big draw, and owner Laura Armstrong may be one of the prime reasons people are checking out the area.
“I’ve been open here for about a year and a half now,” the native New Yorker told the Buzz. “I had my eye on this building when I envisioned my business, and when it became available I made my dream of 18 years happen. There was a wonderful synchronicity to all the businesses on this corner coming together at around the same time. It just so happens that I had a connection to all the wonderful women on this corner.”
Armstrong said she knew Virginia of Bluebird Children’s Resale Boutique because they lived across the street from one another , she and Lynn of Floret Floral Designs are old friends, and she used to work with the husband of Cyndi, owner of ArtWorks and Coffee + Food. Across the street, Cafe Gratitude has been a great draw to the neighborhood and opened around the same time as Ampersand.
This Thursday, October 18th, Armstrong will host her second annual Purse Party from 6-9 pm. They’ll be sweeping aside the racks of vintage clothing, shoes and accessories to make room for one thing and one thing only: handbags. We’re talking contemporary, designer and vintage clutches, leather handbags and totes from a wide range of types, styles and eras. Hundreds of purses from consignors and collectors as well as the Ampersand back bin.
To make it really party-worthy, Armstrong is having the event catered by Cafe Gratitude and will have valet parking available to make dropping in, and pawing through the hundreds of handbags, an evening to remember. Giving Larchmontians another taste of NOLA, at its best.Ampersand Boutique 658 N Larchmont Bl. 323-466-3300 Mon-Sat 11am-6pm Sun 12-4pm
About Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.